|Dragons look forward to new year|
|Written by Chris Lee|
New Holyoke Dragon football coach John Zilla is very pleased with where the team stands heading into this Friday’s season opener against St. Francis, Kan.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait,” Zilla said.
Twenty-eight players make up this year’s Dragon roster. They will see what they’re made of Friday night, Aug. 31 when they host St. Francis, Kan. at 7 p.m. on Max Bernard Field.
Zilla said the guys have accepted his offense and defense and have been working extra hard to prepare. Zilla has introduced a Wing T offense. The new look will be used to cause misdirection for opposing teams and is very different from the offensive packages the Dragons have run the past few years.
On the other side of the ball, Holyoke plans to incorporate a 4-4 defense.
Zilla is the third head coach for the Dragons in three years. He understands the upperclassmen have gone through a great deal of change but he noted they have been well prepared by their past coaching staffs.
“I have not had a complaint,” Zilla said of the players learning under yet another new coach.
The coach said the recent changes have slowed progress a bit but he is happy with where things stand.
Returning letterwinners for the Holyoke Dragon football team are pictured from left, front row, Tito Fierro, Astolfo Rojo, Brett Cumming, Jesus Hermosillo and Logan Zeiler; and back row, TJ Gertner, Ryan Krogmeier, Trevor Dalton, Ben Martinez and Logan Tharp. —Enterprise photo
Conditioning was a focus this week, Zilla said. The last few weeks they haven’t had extreme heat but this week temperatures were expected to be a bit higher. The coach told his team they need to play hard for four quarters and he doesn’t want to see them letting up on a single play.
Assisting Zilla on the sideline this year are Dusty McConnell, Merle Powell and Cutter Garrison. All three assistants are new to the sideline in Holyoke.
The Dragons hit the field Friday, Aug. 24 for a scrimmage with Haxtun and the coach said they got a very good look at what they need to work on.
This Friday, Zilla will be across the field from a friend of his who happens to be the defensive coordinator for the Indians. He expects it to be a good game as the Dragons will be up against the Indians’ wishbone offense.
Much of the Dragon upperclassman roster has extensive experience on the field. Many of the players were getting full playing time as freshmen and sophomores.
Returning letterwinners for the 2012 season include seniors Brett Cumming, Jesus Hermosillo, Ben Martinez, Astolfo Rojo and Logan Zeiler; juniors Trevor Dalton, Ryan Krogmeier and Logan Tharp; and sophomores Tito Fierro and T.J. Gertner.
Others on the team include: freshmen Bradley Cumming, Marques Harvey, Cody Lamm, Taylor Mayden, Eric Rojo and Sidney Struckmeyer; sophomores Dylan Kotch, Jesus Martinez, Nicholas Ortner, Wyatt Powell and Luke Stewart; juniors Andrew Kent, Alan Madrid, Ryan Parker and Saul Ramos; and seniors José Jaquez, Leo Ortiz and Alfredo Santos.
After Friday’s game with St. Francis, the team will travel to Grant, Neb. Friday, Sept. 7, travel to Ault (Highland) Friday, Sept. 14, travel to Mountain Range HS (Cornerstone Christian) Saturday, Sept. 22, host Resurrection Christian Saturday, Sept. 29, host Yuma Friday, Oct. 5, host Limon Friday, Oct. 12, host Wiggins Friday, Oct. 19 and travel to Wray Friday, Oct. 26.
Holyoke Enterprise August 30, 2012